City Desk

A Question for Marion Barry

Dear Councilmember Barry,

Yesterday, in your unhinged letter to David Catania, you wrote, "For you to imply that the 'Clean and Sober' community investment is administered or supervised by myself or Brenda Richardson is a lie."

So are you calling Brenda Richardson a liar?

After all, when Sharon Wise—the person you reportedly picked to run Clean and Sober Inc., one of six suspect nonprofit groups you established—complained about having $15,000 of her $40,000 salary funneled to Darryl Colbert, your longtime recovery sponsor, this is how Richardson responded:

"The councilmember did that," the tape recording indicates. "The councilmember did that!"

And here's what your committee director, Drew Hubbard, said at the same meeting: "I know that for a fact, that when we first identified some funding sources for these type of programs, the councilmember wanted someone, and it ended up being Brenda, to coordinate these things and for the information to flow through her. So it's not going to be an option to have her out of this."

Don't believe LL? Listen to the tape: The Hubbard quote's at 8:25; the Colbert conversation begins at 15:58.


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  • Q

    Okay LL, I see you can't help yourself. I know you can't leak your sources, but these new scoops are tiring. First a letter from Barry that he clearly didn't send to you, now tapes. Rather than milk this story and all its participants (Richardson, Catania, Wise, Watts, etc.), just put us all out of our misery and tell us where you are getting at --- Barry had some woman problems and mettled in non-profit affairs spending tax payer money. Okay, we got that. Anything else?

    This is starting to play out like the overdramatic commercial breaks of American Idol, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, etc. The suspense has lost its luster. Tell us LL, what are you really trying to convey?

    Sad part about this is that you probably could have got Barry's side straight from him, but WCP blew it. A few months ago you were parading around the fact that Barry is now talking to LL. You guys were on speaking terms after a long hiatus from your predecessors. But as a result of the Cover Page and other one-sided implications, you are now stuck with other people's side in all of this, and hence you put out an OPEN LETTER TO MARION BARRY.

    Granted, I'm only fueling this nonsense by commenting, which even I tire of [cheers from Amanda], but can we get to some other Government Related news. Quite frankly, this is getting boring.

  • Mike DeBonis

    Actually, Q, Barry's spokesperson sent me, and a whole bunch of other reporters, the letter.

    We've given Barry, through his spokesperson and lawyer, opportunity to comment on each of our allegations.

  • DC Dude

    Q, he's getting at serious illegal activity by CM Barry.

    It's clear that Berry's side, as you put it, is a lie. So, pull you head out of your ass and STFU.

    LL, keep it up.

  • Q

    His spokesperson sent you the letter?!? Unsolicited? No FOIA request? Then the inmates are truly running the asylum. Apparently they didn't think you'd print it in its entirety, spelling and grammatical errors in all. Maybe their angle was to shame Catania into not meeting with him, which for what it's worth, backfired royally.

    Okay then, at least the tapes didn't come from his office right? Please don't confirm if they did.

  • Wrack

    Has any of this stuff been referred to the USAO for some real action?

  • KCinDC

    Q, if you're bored by hearing about evidence of illegal activity by Barry and his cronies, you can always read some other blog. Those of us who care about good government in the city and hope for our tax dollars to be better spent are grateful to LL for shining a light on these dark corners. I expect he'll continue to gather information from various sources and publish it as he sees fit, despite your pleas for him to ignore the mess.

  • Dave

    Thanks for answering my question, MdB.

  • downtown rez

    Q: This: "Barry had some woman problems and mettled in non-profit affairs spending tax payer money. Okay, we got that. Anything else?"
    Is the understatement of the year (well, at least the minute). What it appears we're really dealing with is fraud and graft to the tune of 7 figures.

  • Truth Hurts

    Your move, Marion. Remember when you fought against drugs in DC? Folks became nauseated and you got busted. Same goes here. Keep spouting off and you'll haved earned every bad thing yet to come.

  • The Advoc8te

    Yeahh MDb! Keep it coming! We are so glad that someone is getting to the bottom of this especaily considering DC goverment and the DC council are asleep at the wheel! All my Ward 8 neighbors and friends are ready to see Barry go - we are glad for these articles and revalations. Barry is a crook that should be in jail.

    Keep it coming!

  • Q

    KCinDC, I do care about good government and fair investigations. I'm not criticizing LL for his reporting either. The boredom sets in after being oversaturated with each pressing factoid instead of consolidating the blogs into a superblog as such. No less than ten articles have been written by various City Paper reporters in the span of less than a week. While some of you may argue that a day-to-day account of facts points to a story of Barry's culpability, too much reporting on a subject can cause a numbing effect (at least to me). Think Britney Spears' custody hearings or Brangelina or even some of the recent Michael Jackson coverage to see what I mean.

    I know this is a competitive business, but rather than judge Marion through the media, why not wait for the IG and others to investigate the allegations first.

    Sure, I can read another blog

  • Downtown Rez

    Not to me, Q. Each post adds new facts to a situation in which the details have yet to be fleshed out.

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  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Houdini - please email some facts re Ward 8 Business Council to DeBonis.

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Does it involve the $5,533.60 the treasurer & chairman of ANC 8E stole in 1998?

  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Sorry - the chairman stole $9,529.77 in addition to the $5,533.60.


    Brenda Richardson had her son unlawfully terminated from the Ward 8 Business Council.


    Hey Mike Debonis,

    James Bunn and Brenda Richardson unlawfully terminated Brenda's son from the Ward 8 Business Council, her son requested a board meeting and his original contract. None of which he received. James Bunn is the executive director of the Ward 8 Business Council and the Chairman of the Congress Heights Main Streets both of which are run in the exact same building at 3119 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. SE Washington DC. Bunn is the front and Brenda runs the organization. She’s served as a board member for both organizations but was then removed when she took a position as the executive director back in August of 08 after two and a half months of work she walked away overpaid in the amount of a little over 14,000. She resigned at the request of Council Member Barry to take her current position at the Ward 8 Constituent Services office. James Bunn then reinstated Brenda as a board member for both The Ward 8 Business Council and Congress Heights Main Streets. James Bunn is misusing government funds. He's not following the grant agreement. They fear being audited and wont furnish the proper financial documents to obtain the 501(C) 3 status. Brenda Richardson is helping them to obtain the 501 (C) 3 status. Brenda is well aware of the James' misuse of government funds. James Bunn meets with Brenda Richardson every day at the constituent services building to receive instructions no decisions are made with out the help of Brenda Richardson. James Bunn lacks skills and credentials for his current position and is a key link to fraudulent bylaws and articles of incorporation. All of which were copied from the Earth Conservation Corps where Brenda Richardson was previously employed years ago. Brenda Richardson was accused of forging the signature of Robert James the Chairman of the Ward 8 Business Council in attempts to create new bylaws that favor James Bunn. Bunn transferred 7,000 dollars of his own money to cover the cost of overspending the budget. Then refunded himself once grant funds became available. He refuses to follow the government grant agreement paying himself and others as he sees fit. He's using government funds to over pay contract workers that were brought on by Brenda Richardson. He fired qualified employees to replace them with personal friends. They are paid fulltime for part time work.

  • Tired of the scamming in Ward 8

    @ Houdini - I think you are on to something here. There are many in the community who know that there is some sham going on with the Ward 8 Business Council and the Congress Heights Main Streets program. You see the same faces over and over again and yet no work ever gets done and they are extreemly defensive whenever you ask questions. Would definetly encourage the CP to look into that if you haven't already. You will see the same cast of characters and the same shady dealings - each one lining the others pocket. It's time someone tears the lead write off of all of this curroption. This is the basis of your Barry support. It's nothing more than a criminal enterprise.


    Mike Debonis,

    Finding Brenda Richardson's son is key to making this an open and shut case.